I cut my daughter’s hair short because she wouldn’t listen to me

When it comes to parents dictating terms to their kids about their hair, it can be a sensitive area.

One dad this week has discovered this the hard way, when his attempt at “discipline” about his young daughter’s hair exploded.

It was a rookie move, as you’ll see.

Writing in a parenting forum to understand how it went so wrong, the dad explained that he’d been at his seven-year-old to keep on top of brushing her long hair daily.

“I’ve warned her over the last year that if she doesn’t start brushing her hair at least twice a day, we’re getting it cut shorter,” he explained.

“Every morning is a battle. I’ve talked to her mum about it and she agreed that I can get it cut if she doesn’t take responsibility for her cleanliness.”

He continued.

“I told her that I can do it, and so can she. I’ve shown her multiple times how I bring my [long] hair over my chest to brush the bottom, which she doesn’t have the dexterity to do. I brush from the bottom and slowly work my way up; I know how to brush hair since mine is long … She doesn’t have to be self-sufficient, but she needs to at least try.

“I cut her hair to about an inch below her shoulders. She was devastated. She continued to cry for another hour as I drove her to my parents’ place to watch her as I went to work. My mother and my sister both got very upset with me. My mum told me I’m going to ruin my daughter if I don’t start taking parenting classes and that cutting her hair was completely unnecessary.”

In the comments section, some thought the girl was too young to be responsible for her own hair, and a better solution should have been found.

“That it needed to be cut, I don’t disagree with,” said one.

“That you didn’t freaking SHAVE her head, but instead she still has hair just below her shoulders, I don’t disagree with. I do disagree … with your cutting it in the heat of the moment. Saying ‘Okay, well, we’ve talked about this fifty times so tonight after work we’re going to have to cut it’ and then doing it later would have been a better approach. She’s only seven.”

This commenter added some sage advice: “Keep it in a braid and wash and comb it regularly to keep the tangles down. Insist on those things first and then if she’s unwilling, come up with a win-win together, which may be cutting it.

“Don’t argue with your child, connect and come up with solutions together. ‘The problem is, your hair is tangled and not taken care of. What can we do so that it’s taken care of and I don’t have to brush it for you?’

“She IS old enough to problem solve, and your job is to coach her in effective problem solving, not do it for her. That’s how we prepare our children to become adults. You were close to a ‘natural’ consequence here but not quite since you intervened and didn’t involve her in the decision.”

But this person shared a similar story, which didn’t have a disastrous result: “My mum did this to me, but not as dramatically. I had waist-length hair and I am especially tender-headed.

“So every morning and every evening would lead to a complete meltdown. Mum warned me that if I couldn’t stop crying and screaming when she brushed my hair she would take me to get it cut, but of course nothing changed so she brought me to a salon to cut it and … I didn’t care one bit.

“It made me no difference whether it was short or long, but I was in a consistently better mood every day because I wasn’t starting the day off with pain in my scalp.”

This story was published by Kidspot and reproduced with permission

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